A LOCAL garden centre has handed over a cheque for more than £2,500 to its chosen charity of the year in memory of its co-founder. 

Monkton Elm Garden Centre is supporting Parkinson's UK this year and set itself the target of raising £5,000 to support people struggling with the disease. 

The family-run garden centre, run by husband and wife duo Mike and Heather Lind, made a donation of £2,503.94 on Thursday, June 7. 

That is an important date for the garden centre because it is the birthday of co-founder Luella Bellman, who lived with Parkinson's disease for over 20 years. 

The garden centre chose to support Parkinson's UK in her honour.

Luella's daughter Heather said: “We were able to see first-hand the amazing work of Parkinson’s UK and are hugely appreciative of all the support they gave her and our father. 

“Here at Monkton Elm, we would like to give something back to Parkinson’s UK. We hope to raise as much awareness as we can to help continue and support their research into finding a cure.”

Mike added: “We’re hoping that through this partnership, we’ll be able to raise awareness and money for Parkinson’s UK’s vital work, as well as having some fun.

“All money raised will help drive forward the search for new treatments, therapies and, hopefully, a cure.”

Luella and her husband David Bellman developed Monkton Elm from a tomato nursery into an award-winning garden centre over 40 years. 

Monton Elm was voted the best destination garden centre in the Wales and west region last year and offers customers products for their homes and gardens. 

There is also a farm shop, restaurant, and the Pondside Café.

The next generation of the Bellman family are continuing to grow the business based on the core values instilled by Luella and David. 

Melissa Rankin, south west regional fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are hugely grateful that Monkton Elm chose Parkinson’s UK as their charity of the year for 2022.

“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives.

“We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last fifty years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough, with many people experiencing distressing side effects from their medication. 

“This incredible support from Monkton Elm helps us fund the research we need to drive breakthroughs, as well as vital services across the UK to help people with Parkinson’s to live well.”

On June 25, Heather and husband Mike will perform a skydive from Dunkeswell Airfield in Devon to raise more money for the charity. 

The garden centre will host an afternoon tea party for the Taunton branch of Parkinson's UK on July 12.

For more information on Monkton Elm's fundraising efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/monktonelm/.